Monday, November 01, 2010

Interna

For those of you who've been asking how my pregnancy is going, here's a brief update.

Unfortunately, I'm having some complications that prompted the doctors to put me on medication and bed rest already several weeks ago. I've been on sick leave since, trying to stay horizontally as much as possible, having weekly check-ups. After last week's exam the doctor recommended if I plan on taking any flights before delivery, I should do so rather sooner than later.

So I packed my bag, rebooked my flight - and now I'm back in Germany. The prospect of staying here for almost half a year is admittedly odd. I haven't lived in Germany for almost 7 years now. When I moved to Arizona for my first postdoc I never meant to stay away more than a year. You'd have told me then I'd only come back after a detour through California, Canada, and Sweden, in late 2010, 7 months pregnant with twins, to move in with a guy I've been married to for more than 4 years yet have never shared an apartment with, I'd have declared you nuts.

Funny, the way life goes, eh?

In any case, moving in with Stefan some weeks earlier than planned means I've stepped right into his moving chaos. We're sitting on boxes, waiting for phone and internet, and have no kitchen appliances. Also, we're facing difficult decisions. For example, Stefan is left-handed but I am right-handed. So which side of the toilet do we put the paper?

The babies meanwhile are doing fine, growing properly and kicking stronger every day. My belly's size is presently that of a nine month single pregnancy, yet scarily enough has to grow 10 more weeks.

News to me is that Halloween has become a seasonal event in Germany. When I was a kid, that tradition was pretty much unknown here. Now, people have carved pumpkins on their doorsteps, stock up on candy and welcome another opportunity to go out and get drunk. No, I didn't carve a pumpkin. I feel like one myself, that's enough seasonal event for me.

Within the last decade or so, Germany has also seen a boom of new shopping malls outside the city centers. On the weekend, Stefan and I went to Starbucks in one of these malls in the area. Half of the guests seemed to be Americans, probably because the US Army has troops in nearby Mannheim, and really, where can you go on a weekend other than Starbucks? The whole place was eerily non-national, and crowded in addition, so we ordered our coffees to go. Then somebody left and I managed to occupy a table. Sitting there with the paper cups quickly got us a reprimand from the barista for producing unnecessary garbage. Suddenly the air smelled German again.

23 comments:

Denis said...

Isn`t that a very serious research project, having a baby ? I wonder how it compares to doing a PhD ? And you`re going for two, Bee !

I am curious to see the next installments of you adventures, Sabine, please take good care of yourself, and allow Stefan to spoil you a bit !

Denis

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

It’s good to learn that you’re back in Germany safely with Stefan. With your story relating that Halloween had caught on in Germany and then going to a shopping mall I thought you were about to report that some shopkeeper had detained you suspecting you were attempting to make off with a pumpkin stuffed under your coat:-) Seriously though I’m hoping things for you will now become at least for a while more ordinary rather then extraordinary.

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Most couples live together at first, then many separate later somewhere down the road. Since you and Stefan have done the opposite, I predict a long and happy marriage ... once you get the toilet paper thing straightened out.

I doubt your term will go the distance. 6-8 weeks maybe, but it not up to you, it's up to Epsilon and Delta.

People getting drunk in Germany is the least surprising thing I've heard. This IS the "Oktoberfest" month, isn't it? No, dangit, it's November starting today. Happy Halloween, or in Germany I guess, Happy Hangover Day !

Celene Dion just had twins. Give her a ring and ask how that last trimester went for her.

Look on the bright side. Working on a laptop while flat on your back means your girls-bump will allow you to have the keyboard propped up at a very comfortable 45 degree angle. ;-p

nulport said...

Install two sanitary tissue dispensors. Tell folks you are bicameral (composed of two legislative bodies).

Beware of travel to the US. Homeland Severity is strip searching passengers suspected of harboring laser printers. National elections are Tuesday, tomorrow. It is incompetent fascists, corporatists, and double-digit IQ christ-besotted jackasses against bleeding heart Liberals, welfare pimps, Enviro-whiners, Wymyns' Lip, and Queer Nation.

We live in exciting times.

Bee said...

Hi Steven,

"Hangover Day" actually happens to be a catholic holiday (All Saint's day) that's still observed in some German states, for example the one we live in. Thus, people can sleep in after partying at Halloween.

Yes, I read about Celine Dion's twin boys. They were 5 weeks early if I recall correctly, so yes, you may be right with your estimate. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Denis,

It is much more exhausting than a PhD, but requires less thinking. Which is good because most of the time I'm too exhausted to think much. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the kind words. For now, weather here in Germany is extraordinarily nice for early November. It is a funny thought, that I won't give or go to any seminar for several months. Very extraordinary :-) Best,

B.

Kris Krogh said...

Dear Bee and Stefan,

Maybe before too long you'll find yourselves carving a pumpkin for the twins. One piece of advice: Save the seeds! They're good roasted in the oven on an oiled cookie sheet.

Cheers, Kris

Shawn Halayka said...

Glad to hear that your medical issues are being taken care of. Horizontal rest tells me that you didn't develop pregnancy-induced DVT, whew. Body socks are a pain... :)

I'm excited for you Bee. The only thing that kept my babies quiet when mommy was sleeping was if I put my pinky finger upside down in their mouth so that it would touch their palate. Worked like a charm three times over.

Best of luck finding the tricks for your babies. It's the best thing to discover, ever. :)

Zephir said...

Actually I don't understand, why just theoretical physicist should travel whole his/her life. It's typical work at home job - nothing then just internet access is actually required here.

Zephir said...

nothing then = nothing bat

Robert said...

Not being allowed to sit down with paper cups might also be due to taxation reasons: Takeaway is considered "food" which has a reduced tax of 7% while stuff you buy in a restaurant for immediate consumption has the general VAT rate of 19%. As prices here are inclusive prices SB staff might have been instructed to make sure they are not commiting tax fraud by paying only the 7% for in-house guests.

Bee said...

Hi Robert,

Yes, that's of course entirely correct. Except that it would be hard to blame the staff if it's the customer who orders 'to go' and then changes their mind. Best,

B.

Kay zum Felde said...

Hi Bee,

it's nice to hear that you finally feel fine and you're with Stefan in this situation. It's important to have one looking for you during this time.

Best, Kay

William said...

Hi Bee,

I'm glad all is good with the twins!

Hmmm ... Rhetorically wondering if the girls give you an extra kick from of the Starbucks caffiene.

For the toilet paper, I think the female's preference should decide its location, since women are the biggest users!

But now you make me think that a new invention could be a door-held toilet paper dispenser for public toilet stalls, since that would give equal ease of access to both right- and left-handed people. Is there grant money available to study that? ;-)

Bee said...

Hi William,

Starbucks sells decaf... And yes, caffeine upsets the little ones. Well, I for sure wouldn't fund that research study... but then, weirder things have been written papers about. How about putting the paper on the ceiling, such that it hangs in front of your face? ;-p Best,

B.

Christine said...

Bee,

You tweetted recently:

"price for twin stroller: painful."

"Spent a total of 5 hours in the hospital for birth planning, 4 of which waiting for one doctor or the other."

That is just the beginning. Hours spent in doctors (mostly waiting, yes) -- even with healthy children, get ready for that. New time administration and financial adjustments should be under way by now. Part of the changes to happen. But the "good part" is great and compensates it all, don't worry.

Best,
Christine

Plato said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Plato said...

With Twin granddaughters and with the parents ran ragged, the twins are a pleasure for Oma und Opa:)

Heck with Mom and Dad:)

Steven Colyer said...

Agreed with Christine, especially about doctors. You can't possibly learn too much about the current state of Pediatrics, which is rapidly changing. You will be seeing doctors quite a bit post-childbirth and yes, they tend to overbook so be sure to bring plenty of reading material as "waiting" will be standard operating procedure. And that's just in America. I can't imagine what it's like in countries with socialized medicine. Forewarned is forearmed.

Plato, I have my own nickname for "children", and that is: "Grandparents' revenge." Or "what goes around, comes around" in the vernacular. As we treated our parents, so in turn shall we be treated by our own little ones. I don't think it's possible to appreciate one's parents until we become so ourselves. Been my experience.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

I don’t understand all the impatience regarding visits to a Doctor’s office, as its actually being a time honoured ritual Jerry Seinfeld was to have explained . :-)

Best,

Phil

Christine said...

As we treated our parents, so in turn shall we be treated by our own little ones.

When my sister's son was born, my mother told her: "Congratulations! Now you have just become the most annoying person in the world".

Best,
Christine

Plato said...

Hi Steve,

I don't think it's possible to appreciate one's parents until we become so ourselves.

No doubt. It's all about perspective as I look from as many angles as possible.

When I jokingly mentioned "the heck with the parents" of the twins, it is not without respect I have for two adults who have gone on to raised these children, and the necessary time that they have ahead of them. It's from perspective that such a destiny will take them a lifetime, yet here I sit looking back at all the parents we have produced from my wife and I, but now, of all the little ones that now have taken our own children's place.

With respect as parents ourselves we have become non judgmental of those other parents and their destiny. How they will raise their children and in this, full respect as well.

I guess you can say that an improved wisdom and open hearts find ultimate patience with the little ones, that even in them we find some blossoming into wonderful adults too.

IN some ways this is how I see the future for Stefan and Bee, as I look back on my own children, how lucky they are to bring such new life into this world.

My own son and daughter in-law tried for a lot of years until they discovered something not quite right. Fertility and in vitro was the only option available to them. Our hearts went out to them and to see time past to this point, it's hard to believe that, that time has past, as well, our own children as parents.

Now we see little Sisters fighting, and a big sister to take care of them. These are the youngest of 8 grandchildren.:)

Best,